How many of you are able hands on heart are able to deal with the crisis, conflict and challenges your business or organisations presents with confidence, optimism and resilience while still being able to keep your team motivated & aligned to the company vision and purpose?
It is an incredibly difficult balancing act which exists on a continuum of ‘self-care’ and well-being to ‘burnout’ and maladaptive behaviour which is unpleasant and damaging.
More damaging though is we as leaders do not know ourselves! Fewer than 20% of us have a strong sense of purpose, as a result we limit our aspirations and often we fail to achieve our most ambitious, professional and personal goals.
Failure to authenticity reflects in a moral deterioration , reduced sense of ownership , responsibility and deliberate dis-association from business or organisation. This failure can cause many of us emulate the behaviour and practices of others because of this uncertainty of not owning one’s personal experience and acting in accord with one’s core values, needs and preferences. Instead, we follow symbols society offers in the external world, money, fame, power and status. This pattern of behaviour may be useful as well as destructive damaging and often unsustainable. If leaders feel trapped in such behaviour the situation needs to be changed.
Knowing thy self requires the courage, honesty and vulnerability to open up and examine experiences, narratives and stories that make up life experiences that have been stored in the memory of self knowledge.
This blog is going to be a series that will explain WHY? Knowing yourself and being ‘authentic ‘ will grow your business and improve your company productivity and performance.
So What is an Authentic Leader?
The concept of authencity has its roots in Greek philosophy. Throughout history the idea of authenticity has been held in high esteem:
“Know thyself and to thine own self be true” (Shakespeare )
Modern day philosophers have focused attention on people who are in ‘tune’ with their basic nature clearly and accurately see themselves and their lives, unencumbered by others expectations for them. Such self-actualised leaders often make more sound personal choices, decisions and judgement.
The belief was self knowledge is the highest form of knowledge, all encompassing surpassing all other forms of knowledge and it is regarded as timeless!
So what is authenticity? And how do you get it?
If you Google authentic leadership you get over 2,000,000 results! It appears to be the new buzzword in leadership. I believe that authenticity begins with honouring the’ self’ to speak and act from our innermost convictions and feelings. That is according to Dr Nathaniel Branden (renowned psychotherapist) to preserve an attitude of self acceptance which means to accept what we are without any pretence about the truth of our own being. It poses the question
“ Shall I honour or betray the ‘self’?”
“ Do I belong to myself or others?”
To be true to the self and to hold core values, a leader must first have an insight and knowledge of those core values. This self-awareness is a prerequisite for authenticity.
By simply becoming more self-aware authentic, leaders construct conditions which create high trust, where teams are supported to build on their strengths. By providing a more positive environment, leaders are able to broaden their thinking and add value and a sense of ‘what is right’ to their decisions , improve the performance and productivity of their business and company over time. The more authentic leaders become the more the business performance improves.
When leaders, solo entrepreneurs, business owners are better equipped to withstand challenges faced by new ventures, and are still able to have a positive impact on team members. They are then able to realise the full potential of their vision. This is essential for the survival and growth of a business or company.
Nathaniel Branden quotes “ In order to honour the ‘self’ is to be willing to think independently, to have the courage of your own perceptions and judgement. To know what we think, feel, need, can be accepted as the right to experience such feelings. The opposite to this attitude is denial, disowning, and repression “
How Can We Help You Make Change Happen?
My coaching practice combines the importance of ‘thinking’ with ‘self awareness’ we love Nancy Kilne quote
“The quality of everything we do depends on the quality of the thinking we do first”
Our sessions are an invitation for leaders to explore their internal and emotional landscape to reveal how much they really know about themselves. Book here and lets see whether we have what you need to start your journey to authenticity.
The combination of thinking and self-awareness is what Coaching2transform identifies as Leadership Thinking the bringing together an existential awareness to the here and now combined with the leader’s presence within it.
Your Presence begins with the discovery of your individual purpose.
Why this matters is the topic of my next blog